It’s meaningful to me even if “nobody” blogs anymore, these things still work as generators of potential serendipity.

Earlier this year, I rummaged through some old photos, online databases, exploring what small shreds I could find about my mother’s brother, my Uncle Harvey. I have the barest warm glow shreds of memories his wife, my Aunt Doris, but no photos, and getting AI to generate something was just pitiful cartoon goo.

But as the internet turns, an interesting thing happened. Another post a few months earlier shared more memories and old photos honoring my Mom’s youngest, and now only surviving sibling, my Aunt Dorothy. Quite unexpectedly, that post got a comment (who out there in blog geritol lan remembers blog comments?) from my cousin Susan, who I liekly have not seen in close to 45 or 50 years!

Let’s navigate the tree- Susan was the oldest daughter of Mom’s older sister, Ruth. I remembered her a bit as an artist, drawing and painting, and loving books. That’s about it!

We began emailing, and as I had just visited my oldest sister in April, where one night we looked through her own box of old photos.I had found one of all my cousins on that side of the family, posing for some event. Look at the kids, with the full range of expression,

Cousins from my Mom’s side of the family. In the back, left to right is Barry,Linda, Albert, and Susan (Albert was son of Aunt Dinah, the others are children of Aunt Ruth). In the front are my sisters Judy and Harriet, and from my Aunt Dorothy, my cousins Frannie, Hank, and Jane in front)

I recognize the abstract painting in the back as one of Aunt Dorothy’s I saw when I visited in 2012 so guess this is at her house. Since I am not here, I’d guess the date as 1963 or earlier.

But then in an email and photo exchange with cousin Susan, she shared a photo her Mom’s photo album had of the adults of these kids posing in the same place, and written on it was the caption that the gathering was for wedding of Harvey and Doris. Susan confirms this took place at our Aunt’s home.

The adult counterpart to the kids images, my parents on the left, and other of mom;s siblings and parents on either side of Doris and Harvey, bride and groom. I appreciate that my Aunt Ruth added labels for all.

So thanks to the re-connection to cousin Susan, who found me via this blog, I now have at least one photo of my Aunt Doris that I sought, very grainy, but a photo nonetheless. I can’t say it’s how I remember her (which is not at all), but is certainly more desirable in fuzzy grainy old photos than what generative AI goo shat out.

Doris Cohen and Harvey Herondorf on their wedding day, likely 1964.

The last bit of irony was getting a message from my sister Judy, the same week I re-connected with my cousin, that she ran into her while shopping at Costco.

I cannot give credit to my blog, that’s just real serendipity.

Yes, my little bits of family photo-sleuthing is pretty minor on the scale of say, climate change or AI bromeisters, but to me, it just rings that little bell of reminder that we can take ownership of our small corners of the internet, toss something out there, and let coincidence work some magic.

Featured Image: Composite by my of cropped versions of he photo of family members shown in this blathering blog post.

Fuzzy pair of old photos pf young woman with dark hair piled on top, and on left a smiling bride and groom on their wedding day, looking at into eternity
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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. That’s a great connection! I have fond memories of aunt Doris and uncle Harvey. I was pretty young but I remember her picking me up and spoiling me with candy and toys??.
    Susan has the same birthday as me. I think he last time I saw her was at aunt Ruth’s apartment when Mom visited us.

    1. Do you remember what Aunt Doris looked like? For some reason I have a memory of her having light or even blond hair. Or what kind of car did she drive? I have only wild guesses, but I can imagine she had to do much to crack the Herondorf women, as the spouse of the one, beloved son. And then I speculate that given the short marriage (married maybe in 1963 or 1964 and Harvey died in 1968) they snubbed her, or maybe it was when she remarried shortly after. I suspect Mom may have defended her? Am I imagining this?

      Yes, its wonderful that Susan reached out. I can send her email, she says she’s active on the Facebook place.

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